Barack Obama in New Zealand: Why the fuss, and what will we feed him?

A brand expert says the potential benefits for New Zealand from Barack Obama's visit are huge as his trip is shared around the world via social media posts.

Such pressure leads to some big questions to try and make his trip a positive one, questions like, what do you feed him?

Famous Kiwi chef Peter Gordon has been tasked with answering that one at a gala dinner in Auckland tomorrow night where Obama will be speaking.

"He's such an incredible man and i thought well he's Hawaiian and lived in Chicago so i thought there's got to be a fish poke and then i thought steak cos you know, Chicago," Mr Gordon told 1 NEWS.

This means that Kiwi salmon's on the menu, along with a host of other high quality local produce that is all part of a global marketing opportunity that doesn't come along every day.

"I think he brings a clear benefit to New Zealand because he's probably one of the most well-known personalities in the world.

He was a big hit wherever he went. Source: 1 NEWS

"And he's probably also one of the most liked personalities in the world," Dr Bodo Lang from Auckland University said.

Chef Peter Gordon is just hoping Obama does choose his salmon tomorrow night.

"I hope so, that's what I've put my heart and soul into."

Obama is in the Bay of Islands, where he's believed to be spending a night at a luxury hideaway. Source: 1 NEWS


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Push to legalise recreational drug testing as deadly Fentanyl detected in NZ's drug market

Many health professionals are pushing for a law change so people can test what drugs they're taking, as Fentanyl is detected in New Zealand's drug market for the first time.

Some recreational drugs are now being laced with the deadly painkiller Fentanyl and it was first detected at a music festival gig in February.

The owner of the white powder thought it was heroin. And while they're both opioids, Fentanyl is up to 100 times more powerful.

The drug has killed tens of thousands of people around the world, including rock star Prince.

There's still no evidence of how Fentanyl is getting into the recreational drug market, and that's why many health professionals are pushing for a change in the law on testing.

"Drugs will come and go. So as one drug say gets stronger and tighter controls about it there's a risk then that another drug will become more available to the market," said Kathryn Leafe of the Needle Exchange Programme.

Health Minister David Clark has launched an independent inquiry into drug addiction, but is reluctant to let recreational drug testing be legal.

"As the law stands there is no wriggle room. Anyone can work out that as soon as you make one aspect of it legal that has implications right down the system," he said.

The classification of Fentanyl will be part of that review, potentially elevating it in line with ecstasy and opium.

Wendy Allison, director of Know Your Stuff which tests drugs at festivals, says the danger associated with Fentanyl is that when people take it thinking they're taking something else, "it is very, very easy to get the dosage wrong and overdose and die".

Customs says there has been a small spike in Fentanyl at the border.

And the Health Quality and Safety Commission has found that for every 1000 people, two are getting Fentanyl from a doctor. It's used for chronic pain and cancer treatment.

"The numbers are increasing and that is a potentially a concern. And we asked that some of the DHBs actually look at their data to see if their increased useage is justified," said William Allan of the Health Quality and Safety Commission.

The deadly painkiller has killed thousands of people around the world. Source: 1 NEWS

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